In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.
Technically speaking, bands break up all the time. But if I’ve learned anything the past decade, few of the hiatuses, short-term stoppages, or full-blown breaks seem to stick for very long. This is by no means a bad thing, but when it comes to that initial farewell, few bands have done it with the transparency of Spraynard.
Like many of its fellow pop-punk bands, Spraynard’s lifespan was short yet creatively dense, with the band releasing two albums and a smorgasbord of splits and EPs in its four years together. During its time, Spraynard oozed positivity, each song an affirmation that implored anyone in earshot to embrace the lighter side of life (naming its sophomore album Funtitled only drove that point home). Of course, a gleeful high five can only hold a band together for so long, and on the four-song Exton Square EP, the trio showed its fissures. It’s hard to say if, at the time, anyone outside the band could have read the lyrics to “Can I Borrow A Feeling?” and picked up on the band’s impending split, but in the years since, it’s served as a small insight as to what brought the Pennsylvania band to an untimely end (“You were the first one I’d ever met / Who understood why everything seemed backwards to me / And now we can’t even talk / Which still seems backwards to me”).
Last summer the members of Spraynard put aside their differences (or perhaps passed them by entirely) and performed a surprise reunion set. The group also just recently announced a full-on reunion show this May to coincide with the release of a rarities album on Asian Man Records. It proved wise that vocalist-guitarist Pat Graham never fully shut the door on the band coming together again, offering himself and the rest of the band an out when he pined, “…Maybe one day we’ll be in the same place / And we’ll laugh like we used to every day.” Whether Spraynard continues past this show in May remains unknown, but at the very least its members have found themselves in the same place, likely laughing together again, even if only for a couple days.